Rohan plays his strongest hand to secure €80,000 Shantou colt
Aisling Crowe on a busy day of trade at the November National Hunt Sale
The sale ring at Tattersalls Ireland resembled the floor of the New York Stock Exchange at times on Tuesday as frenzied bidding for the finest National Hunt foals helped the sale reach new heights.
Turnover during the session was €4,138,700, a leap of 22 per cent on the total for this day last year of €3,999,300. The average improved even more, up 27 per cent to €21,898 from last year’s figure of €17,255, but it was the amount of foals selling for big prices that was staggering.
During the entire six days of the 2016 renewal only eight horses sold for at least €60,000 but on Tuesday that mark was hit by 11 foals. Even more astounding was the number of foals who sold for €70,000 and above, with six youngsters making at least that amount in comparison with two for the entire sale last year.
Briar Hill's brother steals the show
The top price of €80,000 was more than any foal made here in 2016 and that was given by Richard Rohan for a colt by Shantou. He boasted an exceptional pedigree as a brother to Willie Mullins’ Grade 1 Navan Novice Hurdle and Champion Bumper winner Briar Hill and two more winners. Their dam Backaway is a sister to another Mullins’ star of the last five years in Boston Bob, who won three Grade 1 chases and a Grade 1 hurdle.
Bred by Victor Connolly, who stands Shantou at his Burgage Stud outside Leighlinbridge in County Carlow, the April foal was the subject of frantic bidding but it was Rohan who had the strongest hand.
“He is for a client of the farm,” said Rohan. “The foal has a high-class pedigree and is a lovely individual, we thought he was the best foal and we opened the bidding at €50,000 knowing that it would only be an opener. He will be back for resale as a three-year-old.”
Shantou was doubly represented in the day's top ten most expensive foals chart thanks to Kevin and Anna Ross’s €62,000 purchase of a colt out of winning hurdler Annie May.
Consigned by Garryrichard Stud, Annie May is a half-sister to Fagan, who was second in the Grade 1 Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham back in March for Gordon Elliot, and is from Ken Parkhill’s family of the Champion Hurdle-winning brothers Morley Street and Granville Again.
The couple bought the colt on behalf of Chris Jones, who owns Zabana, Great Endeavour and Mala Beach but recently suffered the loss of his highly talented four-year-old hurdler Mega Fortune.
Jones has consolidated his racing and bloodstock commitments with the announcement that Killeen Glebe, the family farm near Dunsany in County Meath would be run by former amateur jockey Gearoid O’Loughlin, who worked with Jones’ young horses prior to his appointment.
“We have been very lucky with the sire and have supported Shantou since the start at Burgage Stud. This colt is an outstanding foal and we are delighted to get him. He's for the farm and could be back here for sale in the future," said Kevin Ross.
Delightful day for Motherway and co
Frank Motherway’s Yellowford Farm in Cork enjoyed a supremely successful day of selling with two of their foals making €70,000 and both bought by bloodstock agent Aiden Murphy.
First up was a Flemensfirth colt out of Avichi, a three-parts sister by Yeats to one of the all-time greats in Hurricane Fly. He also pounced for a colt from the first Irish crop of another Coolmore National Hunt sire Walk In The Park. The February foal is a half-brother to three-time Grade 1 winner Bellshill, who was third in the RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
Murphy’s purchasing did not stop there and he also added a son of Kayf Tara from Little Lodge Farm that cost €77,000. The bay, who was born on April Fool’s Day, is a three-parts brother to Odello, a bumper winner for Warren Greatrex. Their dam is a half-sister to the Listed mares’ hurdle winner Banjaxed Girl.
Murphy said: “He is just a very good foal and from a top consignor by a very good stallion. He will be back for sale as a three-year-old.”
Sustained drive for stock by Kayf Tara
Demand for progeny of Overbury Stud’s British champion National Hunt sire was insatiable all day on Tuesday. Nine foals by the sire of Thistlecrack were sold for a total of €459,000 and an average price of €51,000 off a 2016 covering fee of £5,000.
Legendary trainer Henrietta Knight, who purchased Sunday’s most expensive yearling a Martaline gelding for €75,000, was among the big spenders again on Tuesday and Kayf Tara was top of her shopping list.
Knight, who achieved immortality with Best Mate, outbid Ian Ferguson for Sunday’s top lot and once more the pair duked it out with Knight again outlasting her fellow Cheltenham Festival-winning trainer.
This time it was a grandson of Theatre Girl consigned by Hillcrest Stud and bred by DJ Aiken who caught her eye and Knight went to €66,000 to secure him. Black-type winners Diamond Sal and Ring The Boss feature in the colt’s pedigree, as does champion sprinter and first crop Flat sire Muhaarar.
"Another that is just my type!” smiled Knight. “I loved this horse, he is a great walker and strides out beautifully. I love Kayf Tara as a sire and he is coming towards the end of his covering career so I really wanted to get a foal by him. This foal comes from a lovely family and I loved everything about him."
Fame And Glory colt bound for Ferguson
Ferguson lost out on that foal but he was successful on a number of others including the most expensive foal by the late, and increasingly missed, Fame And Glory for €75,000.
The Antrim trainer, who started the ill-fated champion Simonsig on his road to greatness, has not hidden his admiration for the offspring of the Coolmore sire who died at the start of the 2017 breeding season and he bought this half-brother to Grade 2-winning hurdler and chaser Bright New Dawn.
Consigned by Ashwood Stud for breeder Marilyn Syme, the March foal is also a half-brother to the Listed winner Lyrical Theatre whose Presenting colt was bought for €40,000 by Leonard Walker from Yellowford Farm.
“He is a gorgeous horse and the family is there for all to see,” Ferguson remarked. “He will be going racing, he'll not be coming back for sale. I'm a big fan of Fame And Glory, I just love his horses.”
Tug of war for Fortune offspring
A bidding war between two agents acting for French clients erupted for a daughter of Soldier Of Fortune from the Kent family’s Ballyhamsphire Stud.
Vanessa Teehan-Rouzier of Charel Park Stud and Herve Budel of Agence FIPS fought it out for the filly, whose pedigree had received a recent update. Her half-brother On The Go, by Kamsin, won the Grade 1 Prix Maurice Gillois at Auteuil on 5 November for Guillaume Macaire and James Reveley.
Their three-year-old half-sister Ca Marche by Martaline is a winner already and their dam Sacral Nirvana was twice Listed-placed during her racing career. Her half-sister Perfect Impulse has won three-times at Grade 3 level in France and was recently third in the Grade 1 Prix Le Haye Jousselin at Auteuil.
Teehan-Rouzier outbid Budel at €70,000 for the most expensive filly sold so far this week and the best price achieved for her sire, whose foals sold for an average of €27,580 bred on a €5,000 fee for his first season back at Coolmore’s Beeches Stud.
“I bought her for French clients who want to get into a good family,” explained Teehan-Rouzier. “This filly is from a beautiful French family and it has been very difficult to try and buy a filly. She will be sent to France where they will race her and then breed from her.”
Soldier Of Fortune was popular with bloodstock agent Ross Doyle, who bought two of the pricier colts by the Irish Derby winner. He went to €50,000 for the son of Listed-winning hurdler Oligarch Society who has one of the best pedigrees in the sale.
She is a half-sister to three black-type winners including Sandra Hughes and Katie Walsh’s Irish Grand National hero Thunder And Roses.
“Brahma Bull is unbeaten in his four starts so far and he looks to be a very good horse for Willie Mullins so fingers crossed he can win son blacktype. This foal is an exceptional individual from a great family and he will be back for resale,” added Doyle, who was standing with David Cox of Baroda Stud.
Doyle also paid €30,000 for the Soldier Of Fortune first foal out of She’s No Pet, an unraced half-sister to Racing Post Handicap Chase winner and Scilly Isles runner-up Farmer Jack, from the family of Second Schedual, Calling Brave and Kylemore Lough.
More from the Tattersalls Ireland November National Hunt Sale